As the second semester approaches, it’s easy to become increasingly more worried about the struggles of the next half of the year, as classes tend to become more challenging and grades more dreadful. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of school, college, sports, clubs, and just life in general. With all of this stress, it can seem as though your year is already off to a bad start. Don’t let that thought get to you. Here are 7 of my favorite ways to take a step back from my stress, along with some of my favorite pictures from this past year. Hopefully these methods of de-stressing bring you some relaxation and peace.
1. Take some time for yourself. If you don’t give yourself a little bit of time everyday to just decompress and relax, then you’ll be tense and unhappy for the whole day. Whether it’s for 20 minutes or two hours, allowing yourself to have personal time throughout the day is important.
2. Go for a walk. Just getting some fresh air is enough to clear your jumbled mind a bit. Also, spending some time outside lets you put things a bit more into perspective as well. The more time you spend outside, the smaller and less important the thing you are stressing about will seem in the grand scheme of things.
3. Talk to a friend. Whether it’s good old-fashioned face to face communication or over FaceTime, it always makes me feel better when I can talk to one of my pals and have them convince me that what I’m worrying about doesn’t really matter that much. You’d be surprised by how refreshing it is just to talk it out with someone.
4. Meditate. Meditation is like exercise for your mind. Allowing yourself to connect with your mind in a non-toxic way is beyond rewarding, and even if you can only spend ten minutes or so in mediation, your mentality will feel refreshed and renewed once you are finished. Nothing is unmanageable after you’ve spent some time cleansing your mind of impurities.
5. Go somewhere that you feel at peace. Under a layer of suds in the bathtub, squeezed into the corner table at your favorite breakfast diner, in the passenger seat of the car letting the wind tousle your hair. Go where your mind can be eased.
6. Journal. Journaling is something that I’ve promised myself I am going to stick to this year, partially as a way to keep track of memories, but also as a sort of therapy. Sometimes when I put the pen to paper, I can in a way reassure myself as I write that all of my problems are temporary. Thumbing through the pages and looking at conflicts you’ve had that have passed is also a helpful tactic. Knowing that I’ve conquered past problems gives me hope when I feel stressed out. No issue is permanent, and I promise that your worries about an upcoming struggle will seem pointless in a few days.
7. Breathe. Sometimes that’s all it takes.